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Social workers, nurses help terminally ill man marry

Malcolm Alleyne (right) and Sonia McClean say their wedding vows. Photo courtesy of CBS New York.

Cheers to CBS News in New York City for doing  this news segment and article about social workers and nurses who helped arrange the wedding of a terminally ill man and his long-time girlfriend.

Carolyn Genereux. Screenshot courtesy of CBS New York.

Malcolm Alleyne has lung cancer and doctors had discontinued chemotherapy. Alleyne had known Sonia McClean for five years but had to move into The Metropolitan Jewish Health System’s Zicklin Hospice Residence in Riverdale.

The couple’s hope of marrying never diminished and social workers, nurses and other staff at the hospice pitched in to give them a ceremony.

Nurses doubled as bridesmaids. Another staffer donated flowers from her garden to make bouquets. A bakery helped with a cake and a shop donated the dress.

National Association of Social Workers member Carolyn Genereux, MSW, who is Alleyne’s social worker, said the wedding was good medicine for her client.

“I could see the joy in his face, even though his physical body is not as strong as it was — the same Malcolm is there,” she said.

Social workers help people who are sick or facing life-threatening illnesses get better care and improve quality of life. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Health and Wellness website by clicking here.


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